Italian researchers presenting at an international conference this week say the right kind of radiotherapy for mesothelioma can dramatically boost survival. Radiation oncologist Marco Trovo and his colleagues at the University Hospital of Udine conducted the new mesothelioma research. They studied 108 pleural mesothelioma patients whose tumors could not be completely removed with surgery. Pleural mesothelioma affects the membrane around the lungs and is usually fatal within a year. But in the new study, more than half of the patients who had high doses of targeted radiotherapy in just the right area were still alive two years later. In contrast, just over a quarter of the patients who had palliative radiotherapy for mesothelioma lived to two years. Curative Versus Palliative … Continue reading Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Doubles Survival in New Study
A UK study says prophylactic radiation of the chest wall is unlikely to prevent pleural mesothelioma metastasis. Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos. Tumors start on the lining around the lungs and can spread to the lungs and other organs. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of asbestos cancer. Doctors sometimes use procedures that pierce the chest wall to help diagnose mesothelioma or to deal with mesothelioma side effects. Sometimes, new mesothelioma tumors can form along the instrument tracts or in the spot where the chest wall was pierced. When tumors spread it is known as mesothelioma metastasis. Some evidence suggests that radiating the chest wall after a procedure might prevent mesothelioma metastasis in that … Continue reading Prophylactic Radiation Will Not Prevent Pleural Mesothelioma Metastasis
The largest study ever conducted on adjuvant radiotherapy for mesothelioma shows that it can help patients live longer. Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that tends to be highly resistant to standard treatments. Doctors usually have to use a combination of treatments to attack it. These may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, and/or immunotherapy. But there are still many questions about what combination of therapies to use and in what order. Adjuvant radiotherapy for mesothelioma is radiation delivered prior to surgery. Now, radiation oncology researchers in Texas say this approach can extend mesothelioma survival. Killing Mesothelioma Cells with Radiation Mesothelioma cells are hard to kill. Chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) and cisplatin is the most common treatment. But mesothelioma tumors usually start … Continue reading Adjuvant Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Extends Survival
A multi-center study involving mesothelioma patients from around the world has revealed some new information about the possible connection between mesothelioma, hematologic malignancies and radiation treatment. The study found that, among patients who had both a hematologic malignancy (like lymphoma or leukemia) and mesothelioma, those that had been treated with radiation for their hematologic cancer had better odds of surviving their mesothelioma than those who had not received radiation. Hematologic malignancies are cancers affecting the blood-forming tissues. They include diseases such as Hodgkin lymphoma, Non Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia. Many people with these types of malignancies are treated with ionizing radiation. Unfortunately, this kind of radiation has been shown to raise the risk of developing mesothelioma later in life. To … Continue reading Mesothelioma and Hematologic Cancers: The Radiation Connection
European researchers have a bit of good news for patients coping with the pain that often accompanies late stage malignant pleural mesothelioma. They have found evidence that radiotherapy, which is sometimes prescribed to treat this pain, really can make a difference. The authors, including cancer researchers from both Scotland and Norway, note that, although radiation is often used to treat mesothelioma pain, there has been little research to support the practice. As part of a multi-center phase II clinical trial on the use of radiotherapy for mesothelioma pain, patients were assessed for baseline pain and other symptoms and then treated with 20 Gy of radiation in 5 daily fractions. Mesothelioma pain was evaluated at 5 weeks and again at 12 weeks … Continue reading Evidence Supports Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Pain Relief
A new way of using a CT scanner may make it possible to detect the signs of mesothelioma earlier in asbestos workers without exposing them to dangerously high levels of radiation. As with most types of cancer, mesothelioma treatment outcomes are closely linked to early detection. Because people with mesothelioma often have no symptoms until decades after their asbestos exposure, some studies have suggested that CT scans of asbestos-exposed workers may offer a way to catch the disease earlier. But the radiation used in CT scanning carries its own cancer risks. Now, new research suggests that a technology developed by GE Healthcare may offer a safer way to monitor these workers for signs of mesothelioma. Radiologists and occupational medical experts … Continue reading New CT Method May Enable Safer, Earlier Mesothelioma Detection
Radiation therapy may be a better option for mesothelioma than it used to be – especially when it is delivered using advanced targeting technology. That is the message presented recently to thousands of the world’s lung cancer specialists at the European Lung Cancer Conference by a team of Australian researchers. Observing that many mesothelioma patients are not candidates for surgery and chemotherapy provides poor local control with serious toxicities, Dr. Malcolm Fiegen and his team analyzed the effectiveness of high dose radiation treatments for mesothelioma patients from 2003 to 2011. In the past, high-dose radiation has often been dismissed as a viable treatment option for mesothelioma because the irregular shape of mesothelioma tumors made it difficult to avoid toxic overdoses to healthy … Continue reading High Dose Radiation: Viable for Mesothelioma?
For mesothelioma patients who are not candidates for surgery, new research suggests that an escalated dose of radiotherapy in the right place may help slow the cancer’s progression. Mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining around the lungs and other organs, is hard to treat with traditional therapies in part because of its atypical configuration. The cancer tends to spread across the thin, membranous tissue of the mesothelium in a ‘sheet’ formation, rather than a solid mass. The odd shape of mesothelioma tumors not only makes them difficult to remove surgically, but can also make them challenging to treat with radiation without harming vital organs beneath such as the lungs. But a group of radiology researchers in Milan, Italy found that, … Continue reading Mesothelioma Radiation ‘Boost’: A Surgical Alternative?
Mesothelioma patients who have thoracoscopic surgery should not necessarily have radiation to keep their cancer from spreading at the surgical site. That’s the conclusion of researchers in Oxford, England who recently published an article on the practice of prophylactic irradiation therapy (PIT) for mesothelioma. Malignant pleural mesothelioma, a serious asbestos-linked lung cancer, is notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat. Because blood and imaging tests are often inconclusive, for a definitive diagnosis many patients have to undergo surgery to remove mesothelioma tumor cells for examination under a microscope. With the use of a thoracoscope, a camera for viewing inside the chest cavity, this procedure can often be done through small puncture wounds instead of the large open incision it used to … Continue reading VATS Preventive Radiation Not Recommended for Mesothelioma
Treating mesothelioma aggressively with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation (trimodality therapy, or TMT) might improve survival in a small number of patients, but it may not be the best option for those with more advanced cancer. Imaging tests alone can’t identify the most appropriate candidates for surgery, and as a result, many patients may be unnecessarily undergoing a risky procedure that won’t improve their odds of survival, according to a recent study in the ANZ Journal of Surgery. David Sugarbaker, MD, of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has reported positive results from combining extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP—surgery to remove the diseased lung, as well as the diaphragm and the membrane covering the heart and lung), followed by chemotherapy and radiation. … Continue reading Study Reveals Mesothelioma Therapy Risks and Benefits